Etihad sets new challenges at Worldwide Staff Conference

Etihad sets new challenges at Worldwide Staff Conference

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has held its 2011 Worldwide Staff Conference at the Yas Marina Circuit at Yas Island.

The two-day conference, attended by over 500 staff from around the world, was addressed by Etihad CEO James Hogan and the senior management team, whilst Chairman of the Executive Committee, His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi made a special address.

Over the two days of the conference, staff heard about the challenges and opportunities facing the airline, as well as the next steps on Etihad’s continued path of expansion.

James Hogan said: “Etihad is ready to make 2011 the most important year in its history as we head towards our break even target. Our staff will play an integral role in achieving this, and the conference has been an important opportunity to bring employees from across our global business together for two days of discussion and debate on how to achieve all of our goals.

“Our commitment to breaking even is well within our grasp if we continue to maintain our critical focus on safety, delivery of outstanding service and work hard as one team. 2011 will be all about winning in everything we do.”

In his special address, Chairman of Etihad’s Executive Committee, HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, thanked Etihad staff for believing in Abu Dhabi and its vision for the future, pointing out that the growth and future success of both Etihad and Abu Dhabi is interwoven.

(Over 500 Etihad staff from around the world attended the two-day conference)

The conference reflected on the airline’s growth since inception in 2003 and the results for 2010, which saw passenger numbers top seven million for the first time, with seat factors averaging 74 per cent. Revenues were up 29.2 per cent versus 2009 and Etihad began implementing annualised cost savings of US $320 million.

In 2010, Etihad was voted “World’s Leading Airline” by World Travel Awards. It also picked up “World’s Leading Airline First Class” at the glittering Grand Final Ceremony in London. This followed a clean sweep at the World Travel Awards 2010 Middle East Ceremony in May when it picked up six titles including “Middle East’s Leading Airline”, “Middle East’s Leading Airline Economy Class”, “Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class”, “Middle East’s Leading Airline Inflight Entertainment”, “Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff” and “Middle East’s Leading International Marketing Campaign”

(The ultimate accolade - Etihad Airways is voted “World’s Leading Airline” at 2010 World Travel Awards)

Hogan reiterated that the mandate from its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi, remained as strong as ever. “It is simply to be best-in-class, commercially viable and profitable,” he said.

“We will continue to choose our markets carefully, grow our presence in them sustainably, use the right aircraft for the right routes and be the best airline in those markets. That’s how we’re going to be the best and remain the best, which in turn, will underpin Abu Dhabi’s evolution into one of the world’s leading economic, political and cultural capitals,” he concluded.

Etihad steps up CSR programme
In other news, Etihad Airways has become a member of “Business in the Community” (BITC), an organisation that will support the implementation of the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s sustainability strategy and provide access to best practice in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Etihad, which supports and manages a number of global CSR projects at its home base in Abu Dhabi and across its global network, will work with BITC to define further how it can enhance its responsibility in the workplace, marketplace, environment, and the community.

(Mosaic Intl Summer School has been supported by Etihad since 2009)

Anne Tullis, Etihad Airways’ Head of CSR and Sustainability, said: “Etihad’s corporate social responsibility program has expanded considerably in recent years along with our commitment to a CSR policy and plan that is wholly embedded in our business, and in line with our role as a major company in Abu Dhabi.

Business in the Community is one of the Prince of Wales’ charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is President. It works locally, nationally and internationally through a network of partners world-wide and has 28 years’ experience of working with communities in greatest need.